Religion, Identity and Power : Turkey and the Balkans in the Twenty-First Century
Ahmet Erdi Öztürk

This book examines Turkey's ethno-religious activism and power-related political strategies in the Balkans between 2002 and 2020, the period under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), to determine the scopes of its activities in the region. Ahmet Erdi Öztürk illuminates an often-neglected aspect of Turkey's relations with its Balkan neighbours that emerged as a result of the much discussed ‘authoritarian turn'– a broader shift in Turkish domestic and foreign policy from a realist-secular to a Sunni Islamic orientation with ethno-nationalist policies. Öztürk draws on personal testimonies given by both Turkish and non-Turkish, Muslim and non-Muslim interviewees in three country cases: Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania. The findings shed light on contemporary issues surrounding the continuous redefinition of Turkish secularism under the AKP rule and the emergence of a new Muslim elite in Turkey.

Edinburgh University Press
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